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In his Far East trip to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in China, the East Asian Summit in Myanmar and the G-20 Summit in Australia, Obama has been left with just two cards to play - the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) and the South China Sea arrangement. Both issues are designed to counter China's influence in Asia. At the Apec meeting, he sought to push the TPP free-trade agreement, which excludes China, but to no avail. The strategy behind the deal is to maintain the status quo of the dollar regime.
China recently launched the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, with 21 countries in Asia agreeing to join. The bank's aim is to finance infrastructure projects within Asia, where demand for funds is likely to hit $10 trillion over the next 10 years. India alone will require $5 trillion in fresh financing to fulfil its needs for infrastructure projects to cope with its rapid economic development. Eventually, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will provide loans in yuan as part of broader efforts to dethrone the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
The move came after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Chinese leader met and talked about the rail link extension projects of their countries during the APEC meeting. China has planned to build a new railway from the Silk Road to the ASEAN region, while Thailand has planned to build new railways to link the country with its neighboring nations.